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The Loose Ends That Brazil Must Eliminate

The Loose Ends That Brazil Must Eliminate

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While the OECD's latest forecast sees Brazil's economy shrinking even more in 2016 than the 3.8% GDP reduction seen in 2015, the government is sticking with its policy of prioritizing telecom sector development. The private sector too is reacting stoically, maintaining investment plans in the hope that pent up demand will trump spending power. Mobile operator TIM in fact stood by its pledge in October to increase capex for 2016 compared to 2015, having recently confirmed a budget of 14 billion reais for 2016-18, up from 11 billion reais for 2014-16. It is not just economic uncertainty that operators must deal with, but also political turmoil, mainly surrounding the threat of impeachment against President Dilma Rousseff for possible involvement in high-level corruption. The government is nevertheless taking a systematic approach to the telecom sector's ills, and has pinpointed design errors in the fixed line telephony concession contracts that need to be cleaned up before the sector as a whole can truly advance. Even the possibility of operators Oi and TIM merging, and the impact that would have on mobile and broadband services, hinges on the outcome of the discussion concerning fixed line concessions. The BNamericas Telecom Intelligence Series report for February takes an in-depth look at these ongoing processes that have potential to bring about change in the market.

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